Novak Djokovic triumphed over Carlos Alcaraz in a match lasting just shy of four hours, seizing the Cincinnati Open title, thus adding fuel to their growing rivalry.
This win marked Djokovic’s record-extending 39th ATP Masters 1000 trophy.
After losing the Wimbledon final to the Spanish player, Djokovic managed to come back and win against Alcaraz in the Cincinnati Open. The Serbian player was able to fend off match point in the second set and subsequently won with scores of 5-7, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4).
In the previous month’s Wimbledon final, Alcaraz, the top seed, had defeated Djokovic in five sets.
“The sensation I have on the court recalls some moments when I was up against [Rafael] Nadal in our heydays,” commented Djokovic. “I can’t recall playing many matches like this one.”
He also likened the arduous victory to his win over Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open final, a match that lasted nearly six hours.
Djokovic emphasized the demanding nature of each point in the game, stating, “Every point is a struggle, a battle. Regardless of the circumstances, each shot, each point has to be earned. It’s incredible to experience this with him on the court.”
Though Alcaraz lost, he will still retain the world’s number one ranking as he prepares to defend his US Open title. However, Djokovic could reclaim the top ranking if he wins a single match at Flushing Meadows.
In other news, Gauff defeated Muchova to claim the women’s Cincinnati Open title.
After securing his 23rd Grand Slam at the French Open in June, where he beat Alcaraz in the semi-finals, Djokovic moved ahead of Nadal in the all-time men’s major list.
Djokovic and Nadal’s rivalry has spanned 59 matches over 17 years, whereas Alcaraz has faced Djokovic only four times, with a record tied at 2-2.
A tearful 20-year-old Alcaraz praised Djokovic after the defeat in Ohio, saying, “It’s an incredible experience to play against you, share the court, and learn from you. This game was tight, but I’ve taken a lot from a champion like you. So kudos to you and your team.”
Despite losing the opportunity at match point during the second set tie-break, Alcaraz showed resilience but ultimately lost in the tie-break, with Djokovic claiming the victory in what turned out to be the longest best-of-three-sets final in ATP Tour history.
Djokovic acknowledged the burgeoning rivalry, expressing great respect for Alcaraz and lauding his poise and maturity, particularly considering his young age.
Both players are now headed to New York for the US Open, with Alcaraz aiming to defend a Grand Slam for the first time, and Djokovic seeking his 24th Grand Slam win, after missing the previous year’s tournament due to his Covid vaccination status.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cincinnati Open
Who won the Cincinnati Open title?
Novak Djokovic won the Cincinnati Open title by defeating Carlos Alcaraz.
What was significant about Djokovic’s win over Alcaraz at the Cincinnati Open?
The match lasted nearly four hours, making it the longest best-of-three-sets final in ATP Tour history. The win also extended Djokovic’s record with his 39th ATP Masters 1000 title.
How did Djokovic describe the experience of playing against Alcaraz?
Djokovic compared the experience to facing Rafael Nadal at their prime and emphasized the battle for each point, expressing immense respect for Alcaraz’s poise and maturity.
What will happen to the world rankings after the Cincinnati Open?
Despite his defeat, Carlos Alcaraz will retain the world number one ranking for his US Open title defense. Djokovic will return to the top of the rankings if he wins just one match at Flushing Meadows.
Who won the women’s title at the Cincinnati Open?
Gauff won the women’s Cincinnati Open title by defeating Muchova.
What are the next steps for Djokovic and Alcaraz?
Both players are headed to New York for the US Open, where Alcaraz will attempt to defend a Grand Slam for the first time, and Djokovic will be bidding for his 24th Grand Slam win.
How does Djokovic’s rivalry with Alcaraz compare to his rivalry with Nadal?
Djokovic and Nadal have faced each other 59 times over 17 years, while Alcaraz has only played Djokovic four times. Djokovic has shown great respect for Alcaraz, and their rivalry is intensifying.